Two days after being sworn in as Alabama governor, Robert Bentley apologized Wednesday for proclaiming to a Baptist church audience that only Christians were his brothers and sisters and vowed to work for people of all faiths and colors.
After he took the oath of office at the Alabama Capitol on Monday, Bentley headed across the street to a service honoring Martin Luther King Jr. at King’s first church, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.
During his speech, he remarked: “Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.”
“If anyone from other religions felt disenfranchised by the language, I want to say I am sorry. I am sorry if I offended anyone in any way,” he told reporters Wednesday after meeting with leaders of other faiths in his new office.
The former director of the Center For The Study Of The Law And The Church at Samford University, Chris Doss, said he believes Bentley stumbled briefly, partly because he is a Baptist deacon, speaking in a Baptist church.
“He was talking to his own flock,” Doss said. But he added Bentley will need to be careful that he doesn’t repeat that mistake.
Bentley apologized for his remarks, but not for being a Christian.
“I will never deny being a born-again Christian. I do have core beliefs and I will die with those core beliefs,” Bentley said. “But I do not want to be harmful to others. And I will die if I have to to defend someone else’s right to worship as they choose.”
The president of the national Interfaith Alliance, the Rev. Welton Gaddy, said Bentley “went too far.”
“I thought that with his statement he created two classes of citizens in Alabama, those that were his brothers and sisters in Christ and everyone else. As an elected official, he has the responsibility to serve all the people and treat all the people equally,” Gaddy said.
The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish group that fights discrimination, said it sounded like Bentley was using the office of governor to advocate for Christian conversion.
“If he does so, he is dancing dangerously close to a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which forbids government from promoting the establishment of any religion,” said ADL regional director Bill Nigut.
Source; Associated Press
The US Constitution does indeed prohibit the government from establishing an official state religion like what existed in England at the time and still exists in some European countries. But it does not prohibit an elected official from talking about their faith. If it did, Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison would not be able to make such a big deal about his Moslem faith, to the applause of many of the same people who are now slamming Bentley.
As for people like the Rev. Gaddy, he is a typical example of a “Christian” who treats the Bible like a salad bar, taking the parts he likes and ignoring the rest. This is the most typical kind of “Christian” in the world today, and they will be an active and enthusiastic component of the anti-Christ’s coming One World Religion.
The US is quickly following the example of many European countries by becoming a place where it’s encouraged to practice promote anything and everything as long as it’s not a sincere belief in the literal truth of the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
John 15: 18-21 says;
If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master ‘ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.
Things are only going to get harder for sincere Believers to openly practice their faith and spread the Gospel. Time is short, and we need to get to work.
Written by Aaron